Can Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 Beat FireFox  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , ,

Times are tough for Microsoft, with job cuts, the European Union breathing down its neck again, and Firefox slowly but steadily encroaching on Internet Explorer. More than ever, Microsoft needs IE8 to succeed if it wants to maintain its dominant position. Fortunately, the beta looked good. And while this first release candidate is little changed from the beta, the few adjustments made definitely improve the product. The most significant differences come from InPrivate browsing, the Compatibility view, and improved performance. The browser has also been made more secure, and it gives users convenient new ways to use Web resources. IE8's color-coded tab system, improved address bar, and enhanced privacy protections are noteworthy. Based on this code, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend that any IE7 user upgrade to IE8. PCMag.com got early access to RC1, allowing us to bring you this full review. You can get the code at www.microsoft.com/ie8.

Installation of the 13.5MB (16.5 for 64-bit) download requires a reboot. Versions are available for both 32-bit and 64-bit Vista and Windows Server 2003, though only for the 32-bit version of XP. Note that if you do take the plunge, IE8 becomes your only version of IE. You can't run 7 and 8 side by side. Also, don't try installing this version if you're running Windows 7—you'll just get a message that says "Internet Explorer 8 is not supported on this operating system." This makes sense, because although IE8 will be the browser that comes with Windows 7, the RC1 installers are for Vista (in both 32- and 64-bit flavors) and XP. It does, however leaves us in the unusual position of running a newer version of the browser software on the older OSes.

Terrific Tabs

Internet Explorer 8 makes some unique and welcome strides in tab handling. When you have several tabs open and launch a new one from within one of the open tabs, the color of the just-created tab will match that of its parent. All like-colored tabs are grouped together, so your new tab may not appear all the way to the right the way you're used to. Once you've gotten used to the change, it's a helpful visual cue not found in competing products. A Firefox extension allows tabs to have different colors, but without the logical grouping. When you close the tab of the page you're viewing, the new focus will be a related tab, not just the one to the right or left. (full Story)

This entry was posted on Feb 2, 2009 at 12:16 AM and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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